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Conversational Marketing
A New Paradigm For Marketeers

It is a whole new world out there. The old recipe to Write a tagline, Make a TV Commercial, Make a Poster and paste it wherever you can in the name of ‘integrated marketing’ has turned sour. This does not appeal to the new demographics.

 

What is the New Demographics and what they want?

New demographics comprise of the so called the younger generation of today or like the marketeers like to call it the Gen Z. This is a generation of digital natives, they learned using a smartphone or tablet even before they could talk. They not only understand technology but also speak it, technology has become their native language.
 
The digital revolution has already forced the marketeers to change its strategy from ‘digital first’ to ‘mobile first’. The Gen Z combined with the digital revolution is a puzzle which has forced the CEO’s and CMO’s to realign with their priorities.

 

Messaging is the new medium
After spending a little time amongst Gen Z, the one thing I learned is that they send messages as they breathe, they are mean texting machines. They send messages to each other literally sitting in the same room without anyone else to eavesdrop their chat and in doing so they do not have the slightest sense of social awkwardness. I’ve come to believe they might feel awkward the other way around.

 

Talking about the numbers from business insider, The monthly active users from each of the top 4 messaging apps is more than top 4 social networks combined and is constantly increasing. Now this does not symbolize a trend but rather it signals to a paradigm shift. Goodbye Interruptions, Hello Conversations. To truly leverage this conversational opportunity the marketeers not only have to learn new rules of the game but have to embrace it arms spread. Here are a few of them.

 

  • One-to-One VS One-to-Many

    For the first time in the history of advertising/marketing the brands have the golden opportunity to connect with the customers on personal level rather than broadcasting the brand message. We can no longer use the same message across all platforms. Marketeers will have to tailor every message to the context, timing and the nature of the conversation since no person or platform is created equal.

    With this opportunity comes immense responsibility of rethinking our strategy of broadcasting brand messages. You cannot use the conventional ‘yell and sell’ strategy because messaging is about chat and listen.

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  • The Big Data Game

    One-to-one communication creates a platform to sequence  messages in a natural,contextual and a human way. This gives us tons of personal insights and actionable data. The aggregate of conversational insights is  more valuable because it is much more structured which allows the marketeers to break it down into smaller units and sub-units of data (conversions, phrases, to words) that is easy to comprehend and execute on. This actionable data puts any marketeer into the game of big data, which if used wisely would give revelations like never before.

    This is the only reason why conversational marketing has become a potential goldmine for marketeers which only an ill-advised imbicible will overlook.

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  • Picture Perfect VS. Available
    Unlike Gen X, the Gen Z has a high affinity towards the real and raw thanks to applications like periscope & snapchat which define the new social currency. Therefore always being available for your customers has become more real and important than being picture perfect. Conversational marketing tools such as chat bots give the brands a native advantage of being always available without requiring a lot of resources and attention. They give your customers 24×7 access into your world where you define the conceptual and functional boundaries, which might not always be picture perfect.

    The sense of being available at the time of need works as an invite to the customers messaging network giving you unprecedented access to their needs, wants and psyche. In the new world being genuine and instantaneous is much more important than perfection.

 

Messaging truly is king. Conversations will become the new engagement metrics of the modern day, it’s time for marketeers to review their priority list as shouting might turn out to be a losing game in this new paradigm. The later the brands jump on to the bandwagon, the further behind they might find themselves in a few months or years.

 

Messaging as a new marketing medium has endless possibilities and is like a blank canvas waiting for the new gen marketeers to explore it, exploit it and paint it the way they like.
 

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How Bots Will Work

Chat bots are computer programs designed specifically to communicate with users as if it were human. Chat bot is still in it’s early days and yet a lot of people have stated the chat bots to be replace webpages.

 

From an outsider’s perspective chat bots look extremely simple as it is nothing more than a bunch of decision based flow charts with predictable outcomes but we beg to differ. We have spent a lot of time in understanding and building our playbook for How Bots Will Work?  and this blog is a sneak peak into what we figure as the points of extreme caution in building the chat bots.

 

  1. Bots are meant to make life simpler
    The bots should be able to lead you to a valuable result with minimal inputs from the user. The bot should be aware, and even anticipate the needs of the user by leveraging previously stored information. Integrations and contextual relevancy are the key for an experience that saves time, effort and stress with minimum friction, if not for this how are bots better from websites or apps that came before it.
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  3. Start simple and focused

    The number of paths the conversation can take increases the potential for dead ends. Every bit of information you show competes with relevant information thus decreasing the relative visibility of the information. It is better to build a focused chat bot with a clear value proposition rather than filling the container with more than what it can hold and creating a mess. Chatting with a dumb chat bot is no different than an IVR, Nobody likes it!

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  5. Bots need to be self explanatory

    The bot needs to be designed smartly to incorporate a learning curve for the new users, not only should the bot inform the user of its capabilities but also present with opportunities to explore other features of the bot. You cannot expect a new user to figure everything out on its own.

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  7. Personality makes an impression

    The first impression does matter and giving your bot a personality will help you make an impression on your users. There is clear distinction between the content and the deliver, i.e. the what and how. Every business needs to define its relationship with its user and this will define the personality of the bot, for instance a law firm will have a very professional relation with its user while a fashion store needs to have more a friendly approach, these personality traits need to be reflected in the bots. If you muss out on this key element, you will have successfully accomplished in creating a unattractive and un-interactive alternate to an application.

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  9. Interaction should be short and simple

    Chat bots represent a transition from GUI to no UI, long messages sent to fast are difficult to comprehend and moreover you don’t want your users to have to scroll back up to read the entire messages. Also the user tends to skim the messages rather than reading it all in case of long messages increasing the chance of missing important communication. Contextual and previously stored information should help shorten the complicated flows and allow repetitive tasks to be done as simply as one click.

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  11. Create an hybrid experience

    GUI replaced the text based terminals for a reason, some tasks are simply faster with touch or click. Though most of the users are accustomed to use text for communicating, but it not be efficient for all use cases. Structured information is a very interesting way, however over reliance on structured messages may quickly lose the conversational element and alienate the user into an artificial world. Structured messages can efficiently be used as a guiding tool. For example rather than asking user to type his response in a ‘yes’ or ‘no’, you can use structured message with two buttons.

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  13. Suggest the next step

    A smart bot should suggest the next steps to the user, this will not only help you steer the conversation in the desired direction but also help users discover additional functionalities. To top it off you plan your flows properly you can avoid bombarding the user with a wall of information and help them move forward. For example when your bot responds with a confirmation of an travel ticket, that bot can suggest booking of hotel rooms along with it.

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  15. Always reply back

    Basic human courtesy is whenever somebody communicates with you, you always respond it might be a simple gesture of acknowledgement or answer to its question, likewise make it a point that your bot responds to the user input every time or you will never be able to provide a human like experience to the user. The last conversations by the user not only demand an acknowledgement from the bot, but also present a unique opportunity to upsell, or bridge the gap between you and your user by showing you care.

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Building Customer Facing Chat Bots

Bots are the new apps, continued and mass development that it is undergoing will likely change how we seek both service and information from a business entirely. Though in the present scenario some businesses may be better suited for chat bots but overall every brand and business needs to consider the impact of this new conversational web era on both the business and the customer.

 

The evolution of messaging conversation will imply that rather than the customer being forced to adhere to the UI while navigating the company’s website or app, now the brands will have to learn to understand the natural language of customers, thus the burden will shift from the customer to the brands/business.

 

Here we are talking about our recipe for building customer facing bots

 

  1. Getting the basics right
  2. The basics of implementing any customer facing technology is customer satisfaction and it has only one golden rule “Do what is best for your customer” and we need to answer The Why, The Who and The What to understand the best interest of the customer.

    • What are the queries that the customer may possibly have while contacting us?
    • Which of my customer segment will be amongst the first users of chat bots?
    • Does the customer know what he is looking for, or will he require assisted navigation?
    • Does the customer know about the entire spectrum of services we offer?

 

  1. Reconnaissance
  2. The soul for any automation lies in the data, similarly the foundation of the chat bots should be grounded deep into data. Answers of the above questions will help you identify and gather relevant data which largely comprises of user behaviour statistics and reveal the following.

    • Where is the biggest volume of customer interaction taking place?
    • What are the most common and highly repetitive enquiries for the business?
    • What is the most repetitive patterns in the frequent enquiries?
    • Which are the most significant scenarios that require the most efforts without increasing revenues resulting in poor unit economics?
    • Which are the most significant scenarios that require the most efforts without any significant impact on revenues?

    These insights will not only present the immediate opportunities for implementing chat bots but will also outline the potential opportunities in the future along with possible pitfalls you may run into it.

 

  1. Automating the low hanging fruits
  2. Before getting carried away into building bots and scaling automation we need to validate our strategy for which we choose the path of least resistance and automate the easiest queries and scenarios. This will help us understand our customer satisfaction and behaviour better and allow us to plan future growth.
     
    We usually prefer those queries that do not present any significant impact on the bottom line and yet arise frequently, for example checking the account balance for bank accounts or wallets. Starting small allows us a few mistakes and also a better understanding for automating the frequent queries that directly impact the revenues.

 

  1. Scaling automation to be where we want to be
  2. Using the data and intelligence gathered from automation of the initial interactions to drive future implementation of chat bots reduces the risk of an overall frustrating user experience, which no business wants because customer delight is the only winning formula for a business.


Now is an ideal time for any business to start exploring how chat bots can help you smoothly and effectively transition into the conversational web era. Automation technology or artificial intelligence as the world calls it is only beginning to scratch the surface in terms of its application in day to day lives, so experimenting it today will help you through out the journey of its unfolding and help you stay ahead of the curve in providing a great customer experience.

 

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Try ZiPi, You’ll Love It!

The world is going crazy about chat bot enabled conversational commerce being the next big thing. While the geeks have their reasons to believe this claim, I have a different outlook to it. Though principally we all agree that for anything to become the next big thing there is only one reason and that is the mass acceptance by the users across the globe.

 

Leaving the geeks in their world of thoughts we the mango people really want one thing to make our day to day life simpler and interesting. In this blog I will be talking about some mango features of chat bots along with how and what ZiPi is onto to make us fall in love with it.
 

  1. It is easy to use
  2. Man is a social animal and the beauty of chat is that it is personal yet disconnected. We use chat so often these days that it has become inherent in us and therefore the acceptance of chat interface comes more naturally to us. ZiPi oozes this same natural acceptance, getting anything done over ZiPi is as simple as chatting with a friend making it extremely easy to use.

 

  1. It makes life simpler
  2. ZiPi clears the clutter on your phone and solves the problem of low mobile storage. ZiPi platform is self sufficient replacement for most of the apps on your mobile phone such as for Restaurants, Cabs, Movies, New, Recharge and many more making it a complete one stop solution. ZiPi securely stores all your vital information so that only the required information is shared when it is required without you having to enter it time and again or being worried about misuse. These are just a few and you will see some more when you use ZiPi such as easier and faster ways to get things done.

 

  1. We understand you better
  2. ZiPi is like a friend to us, the more time we spend it the more it knows us better. The more you use ZiPi it keeps on learning about your preferences, size, favorite food, color, restaurants, your routines and much more. So basically every time ZiPi gives you a suggestion it will start getting closer to your expectations and gradually will start understanding you only the way your best friend would probably understand.

 

  1. It gives hope for a brighter tomorrow
  2. Now let us imagine a scenario where I as a mango person book a flight from my hometown Indore to Mumbai using the Travel Bot on ZiPi and as soon as my reservations are made I receive a recommendation for a few hotels in Mumbai based on what ZiPi knows about my previous hotel bookings, now I’m only a click away without the hassle of searching. This is not it as soon as I switch on my phone after landing in Mumbai the Taxi Bot asks me if I would like to take a cab to my hotel and by the time I pick my luggage and step out of the airport my cab is already waiting for me, it is time to sit back and relax. This is only possible with a single platform solution for everything like ZiPi, it sure looks like a brighter tomorrow.

 

  1. It makes you smarter and cooler
  2. This is one very important factor for us mango people, it is usually the reason why we try something new. I have already told about how ZiPi is smart and makes us smarter but let me tell you one more thing, ZiPi has a close resemblance to movies, do you remember Jarvis, yes Ironman’s smart computer which does everything for Tony Stark. Similarly, we have Alfred, Batman’s private valet, now doesn’t ZiPi look like a great combo of Jarvis and Alfred? When you have something in your pocket what the super heroes of our era use, don’t you feel a lot cooler and powerful?

 

Leave the rest but I would surely give it try only for the last point but you can have your pick. Try ZiPi, you will love it!

 

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Chat Bots v/s Mobile Apps

Around all this chatter about chat bots where most of the giants agree that chat bots are the apps of the future and the next big thing, there remain a few who still believe that bots are still too nascent to make those claims and answers to questions like, how will people react to having businesses on chat? How will users discover new bots? Will the bots be able to handle nuances of multiple languages and dialects? and many more.

 

Whatever lies in the future of the chat bots, people tend to follow new market trends and it is important for the brands and the business to do the same. Amongst this chaos we bring 6 reasons why brands and business should launch a chat bot rather than a mobile application

 

  1. Flavor of the season – Messaging
  2. The messengers have overtaken the social media as thee popular mode for social communication. Facebook alone has close to a billion users each month using its messenger service, while We Chat has close to half a billion users only in Asia. Messaging has seen and is still seeing unprecedented popularity with the users, people are hooked to messengers and they are slowly emerging as the alternative home screens for millions of smartphone users against mobile applications.


  1. Lower time and cost of development
  2. By launching chat bots unlike mobile apps you have instant access across multiple operating systems. There is no requirement of you having previous design or development experience nor does it require to hire dedicated and specialized resources for multiple platforms. With chat bots you can go live almost instantly, there is no need to spend a lot of time and money on development making it a very hassle free and cost effective solution for brand and the business.

 

  1. Easy and cheaper user acquisition
  2. User acquisition has become extremely difficult as the app download rate is seeing a 20% decrease year after year. A study done by May Meeker 65% of all users download no new app in a typical month. 85% of the time a user spends on his phone is spent on 3-5 apps (usually dominated by the giants) which makes access to mobile real estate for new applications extremely difficult and expensive. Further in this overcrowded space of mobile apps has made getting discovered on google play store and apple app store generically very challenging. Chat bots are instant and requires no additional resources of the user, this means less effort on optimizing app, less efforts on getting users to download application, universal interface means less money to be spent on user awareness of the features of the application, all these factors result in easy and cheaper user acquisition

 

  1. Easily reengage lapsed users
  2. Mobile applications stats show that after spending exorbitantly on user acquisition an average of 23% of the users abandon the application after the first use. While 60% of them use the application less than 10 times. Sending out mobile notification to reengage the users doesn’t work because they tend to uninstall the application almost instantly. This has not been the case with messengers. Messengers combined have seen an average of 50 minutes per day usage by a smartphone user. Also since the users do not have to install the bot to use it, they don’t have to uninstall it and therefore it is easy to reach out to the customers who abandoned the application for whatever reasons. Even in the case of applications dedicated for bots, the users are working on multiple applications and the experience with one bot in particular does not force them to abandon the complete platform.

 

  1. Increased user engagement
  2. Chat is more intimate and personal and that is one factor that is one factor because of which chat based interfaces are wining. Conversational interface is faster & simpler thus more user friendly. According to Hyatt they have seen a rise in customer satisfaction level after and increase in conversation after the launched customer support across messaging platform owing to which the are extremely excited about working with a chat bot which not only provides customer support but also facilities of checking availability making reservations and ordering room service. There are billions of messages being exchanged between the users and the business across various messaging platforms and chat bots is only going to give it wings.

 

  1. Higher click through rate
  2. We all are aware of the low open rates, click rates and reach of emails, in app notifications and social media posts, but take a moment and try to remember how often do you ignore your messenger notifications. Though chat bots may broadcast messages at scale but it reaches to the user in a more intimate one to one conversation format thus increasing the chances of people going through your chat bots message may be just with a glance but definitely going through the users eye.

 
So the question that each brand and business needs to ask before mobile app development is that Will this app be able to compete with the likes of Facebook, Google, WhatsApp and Instagram? Is mobile app development really worth my time and money? Are my customers happier to keep my app? Does my business actually benefit from making this app?
The moment you as a brand or as a business have answers to the above question you will have the same logical approach as everyone else ‘Let’s build a chat bot.’
 
 

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